Vote-by-mail results just posted in Contra Costa County show Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi leading with 57 percent compared with 38 percent for Republican David Harmer.
The results offer a stronger than usual window into the outcome because elections officials expect 75 percent of all ballots cast in this special election will come via the mail. Contra Costa election guru estimates that the vote-by-mail numbers reported so far represent about two-thirds of all the votes that will be cast.
Harmer has been campaigning strong in the final two weeks and the national Republican Party has dumped four mailers into the district. But it may not be enough to overcome the sheer numerical 18-percentage-point registration advantage of the Democrats.